Taking inspiration from the Indian Premier League (IPL), our neighbours have come up with their own version of the T20 tournament. Dubbed the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the tournament runs every year and includes teams from the six major cities in Pakistan.
Currently in its fifth season, PSL 2020 is taking place entirely in Pakistan for the first time. Due to security concerns, the event was held in United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) for four consecutive years.
However, after organising both PSL 2018 and 2019 finals at home, along with the return of test cricket, our neighbours are now in a position to hold the T20 tournament in their own country as well.
PSL 2020 | When Does It Take Place?
The inaugural match of this year’s event took place at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 20. The first match was between two titans and saw 2019’s champion Quetta Gladiators face off against arch rivals, Islamabad United.
If you have been following PSL over the years you will recall that Islamabad United have won the tournament twice (2016 and 2018)
The pool stages will spill over into March with matches taking place all over the country. While most games take place at 7pm (PST), some are also scheduled to take place in the afternoon at 2pm (PST)
PSL 2020 | Where are the matches being played?
PSL V will take place across four venues.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
An international standard cricket stadium that hosted its first match in 1993. The stadium has recently been expanded and can accommodate a crowd of 17,000 spectators.
Lahore Cricket Stadium
Also referred to as Gaddafi Stadium (after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi). The cricket stadium was designed by famous architect and engineer Nasreddin Murat-Khan and can hold up to 27,000 spectators. It is considered to be one of the biggest cricket stadiums in Pakistan that also doubles up as the head quarter for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Karachi Cricket Stadium
The largest of all stadiums in Pakistan, the Karachi cricket stadium can hold up to 34,228 spectators. The National Stadium Karachi was constructed in 1955 and hosted its inaugural test match between India and Pakistan between 20–24 April 1955.
Multan Cricket Stadium
Constructed in 2001, the Multan Cricket stadium is the newest of the four cricket stadiums being used for PSL 2020 and has a capacity of 30,000.
PSL 2020 | Tournament Format
PSL follows the format of the IPL and uses a double round-robin format to decide the positioning of the teams in the tournament. The aim for each team is to win as many games and essentially occupy either of the top four positions on the table.
The top four teams in the leagues table qualify for the playoffs. Teams sitting at position one and two at the table advance to the qualifying round of the tournament.
Teams at position three and four enter what is described as the ‘Eliminator’ stage. The losing team from the qualifying stage faces off against the winner from the eliminator stage in what can dubbed as Eliminator 2.0.
Winner of Eliminator 2.0 sees the team advance to the PSL final where they square off against the best team in the tournament, held at Gaddafi stadium Lahore
PSL 2020 | Teams
As one of the original teams unveiled at the first PSL, the Quetta Gladiators were sold to Omar Associates for $11 million. The team is based in Quetta which is the provincial capital of Balochistan. Sarfraz Ahmed was appointed captain of the franchise and has since retained captaincy with former Pakistan wicket keeper, Moin Khan serving as coach. The team is also mentored by West Indian great, Viv Richards.
The Quetta Gladiators are considered as one of the strongest teams in PSL. Their PSL journey started with comfortable wins over their opponents which landed them into the first PSL final. Unfortunately, they were unable to overcome the might of Islamabad United and eventually lost the match by six wickets.
In 2017, Quetta Gladiators released Kumar Sangakkara which did not seem to dent their confidence or ability to reach the finals. Facing an unfamiliar opponent in Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta were unable to contain the batting prowess of Darren Sammy and ended up losing their second consecutive final by 58 runs.
Continuing with their devastating form, the Gladiators were once again successful in reaching the playoffs in 2018. They squared off against Peshawar Zalmi in a thrilling match that saw their opponents win by just 1 run knocking the Gladiators out of the tournament.
In 2019, the Gladiators were able to go the distance and defeated arch rivals Peshawar Zalmi by 8 wickets to lift their first PSL title.
Quetta Gladiators will be a strong team to beat in PSL 2020 especially since their squad is bolstered by the likes of Shane Watson, Mohammad Hasnain and express bowler, Naseem Shah.
Quetta Gladiators PSL 2020 Squad
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Umar Akmal, Abdul Nasir, Sohail Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Aarish Ali, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Jason Roy, Fawad Ahmed, Tymal Mills, Shane Watson, Keemo Paul.
IU as they are affectionately called by their fans is a franchise owned by Leonine Global Sports who also own Hong Kong Island United. Leonine Global were able to snap up the rights of the franchise for a fee of $15 million. In the inaugural season of PSL, IU were captained by Misbah Ul Haq with Dean Jones serving as head coach.
Despite a poor start to their PSL journey, Islamabad United were able to reach the finals where they faced Quetta Gladiators. Dwyane Smith and Brad Haddin were the star performers for IU in the PSL final as they scored a combined 134 to give IU the win with eight balls to spare.
In 2017, they added Shadab Khan to bolster their spin bowling attack. IU were able to reach the ‘Eliminator’ stage where they faced off against Karachi Kings. KK scored just 126 in their allotted 20 overs and many assumed that IU would chase this comfortably. However, the team were unable to reach their target, eventually being bowled out for a measly 82 runs, their lowest total in tournament history.
2018 saw them reach the finals against Peshawar Zalmi. Once again, IU found themselves in a comfortable position at 96 for no loss while chasing down a total of 148. The game was not without its moments as IU’s batting order collapsed losing 6 wickets for just twenty runs. Despite the collapse, IU were able to reach the end and lifted the trophy for a second time.
2019 saw a change in captaincy with Misbah Ul Haq stepping down from T20 cricket and handed the reigns of the team to pace bowler, Mohammad Sami. Shadab Khan was appointed the vice-captain while Dean Jones continued his stint as head coach. IU were once again able to make it to the play offs, playing the second eliminator match against Peshawar Zalmi. Unfortunately for IU, they were unable to defend their title and ended up losing to Zalmi by 48 runs.
The team look dangerous yet once again for the PSL 2020. A few team changes have taken place with Dean Jones exiting as coach with Misbah Ul Haq stepping in. Mohammad Sami was also relieved of his captaincy duties and a new captain in the form of Shadab Khan was appointed. The team look dangerous and should be able to reach the playoff stage with ease.
Islamabad United PSL 2020 Squad
Shadab Khan (c), Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Luke Ronchi, Hussain Talat, Amad Butt, Musa Khan, Rizwan Hussain, Dale Steyn, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Rumman Raees, Phil Salt, Zafar Gohar, Akif Javed, Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Saif Badar, Rassie van der Dussen.
The Karachi Kings franchise was sold to ARY Media Group for $26 million for ten-year period making it the second most expensive team in PSL. Shoaib Malik was appointed captain of the team in 2016 but has since been replaced by Imad Wasim. Dean Jones serves as head coach having switched over from Islamabad United to Karachi Kings.
In 2016 Kings were able to reach the qualifier stage facing Islamabad United. Ravi Bopara was appointed captain ahead of the match (replacing Shoaib Malik) but was unable to lead the team to victory. KK posted their lowest score of the tournament being bowled out for 111 runs and were easily defeated by Islamabad United.
The Kings’ squad was given a boost with the inclusion of Sri Lankan batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Babar Azam. Former Pakistan medium pacer, Azhar Mahmood was appointed as head coach. Karachi Kings in a repeat of last year saw Islamabad United standing in the way of glory in 2017.
Once again they were unable to post a challenging total and were skittled for just 126. Hoping for an easy win, IU faced a determined bowling line up which tore through IU’s defences, bowling them out for 82 runs. They were up against Zalmi next who proved to be too much to handle for KK which saw them crashing out of the tournament in third position.
In PSL 3, Karachi Kings were up against Zalmi in the Eliminator stage and ended up losing by 13 runs. PSL 4 would be prove to be even worse for KK as they crashed out of the tournament in the qualifying stage, losing to Islamabad United by 4 wickets.
Despite having a fantastic line up on paper, the Imad Wasim led team have been unable to shake off their ‘third position’tag in PSL. With a bowling attack that can rip through any opposition, it will remain to be seen if the Kings are able to finally lift the trophy in PSL V.
Karachi Kings PSL 2020 Squad
Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim (c), Iftikhar Ahmed, Aamir Yamin, Usama Mir, Umer Khan, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Sharjeel Khan, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Umaid Asif, Dan Lawrence, Ali Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Liam Plunkett, Awais Zia.
A franchise that represents Peshawar, capital city of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, the rights to the franchise were scooped up by Javed Afridi for $16 million for a period of 10 years. Darren Sammy was appointed captain with Mohammad Akram serving as head coach of the team.
Peshawar Zalmi started off their PSL journey by winning back to back matches. Their good performances landed them in the second qualifier match where they faced Islamabad United. Zalmi were unable to beat their opponents and ended up PSL on third position.
Despite getting off to a shaky start in 2017, Zalmi were able to turn things around eventually landing in the PSL finals of 2016. They faced Quetta Gladiators who were unable to reach the Zalmi total of 148, losing the match by 58 runs.
Defending champions, Zalmi were able to reach the finals of PSL once again and fans believed they had the line up to defend their title. Luck was not on their side as poor fielding, particularly a dropped catch by Kamran Akmal led to their defeat at the hands of Islamabad United.
Continuing their blistering form, Zalmi finished at the top of the table in 2018. They landed in the finals yet once again but were unable to defeat the Gladiators, losing by 8 wickets.
PSL V is already proving to be tricky for Peshawar Zalmi with Darren Sammy standing down as captain. Sammy has assumed the responsibility of head coach replacing Mohammad Akram while pacer Wahab Riaz assumes the role of captain.
Given rumours of internal turmoil we feel that Peshawar Zalmi will be unable to lift the trophy in PSL V.
Peshawar Zalmi PSL 2020 Squad
Hasan Ali, Kieron Pollard, Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Darren Sammy, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Tom Banton, Shoaib Malik, Liam Dawson, Mohammad Mohsin, Rahat Ali, Dwaine Pretorius, Adil Amin, Amir Khan, Aamir Ali, Liam Livingstone, Haider Ali Khan.
After the tremendous success of the first two seasons of PSL, it was announced that a sixth team would be added to the tournament. Five regions were considered out of which Multan was declared to be the sixth franchise. The rights to Multan Sultans were acquired by Schon Properties for a total of $5.2 million per year making it the most expensive PSL franchise.
Shoaib Malik was appointed the captain in 2018 with Tom Moody serving as head coach. As of PSL V, Shan Masood serves as the new captain while Andy Flower replaces Moody as head coach.
Multan Sultans started off their PSL journey on a positive note thrashing defending champions Peshawar Zalmi to win by 7 wickets. However, the Sultans were unable to keep the momentum going and finished the league table on position five signalling an end to their PSL journey.
Mercurial all-rounder, Shahid Afridi was added to squad to bolster both their batting and bowling attack. The Sultans were unable to cross the finishing line once again and finished PSL 2019 on position five yet once again.
PSL 2020 has seen a few changes being made to the team. Most noticeably, Shoaib Malik has been replaced by Shan Masood as captain. Will the change in captaincy be enough to help this relatively young PSL team lift the title?
Multan Sultans PSL 2020 Squad
Shahid Afridi (c), Ali Shafiq, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Ilyas, Junaid Khan, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Ashraf, Sohail Tanvir, Rohail Nazir, Khushdil Shah, Usman Qadir, Bilawal Bhatti, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Rilee Rossouw, Ravi Bopara, Imran Tahir, Fabian Allen.
Lahore Qalandars is a PSL franchise that was sold for $25.1 million to Qatar Lubricants company. Azhar Ali was appointed the captain in 2016 while Paddy Upton served as head coach. For PSL 2020, Sohail Akhar leads the team while former fast bowler, Aaqib Javed serves as head coach.
Generally regarded as the worst team in PSL, no other franchise has come so close yet remained so far from winning the trophy. The Qalandars have over the years exhibited immense ability with both bat and bowl yet have not been able to reach their goals. Fawad Rana, the owner of the franchise has become as popular as the team itself for his undying support for the franchise and never say never attitude.
With a line-up that included Chris Gayle, Dwyane Bravo and Umer Akmal, experts pegged the Qalandars as the strongest team in the tournament. However, they proved to be anything but strong and crashed out of the inaugural tournament finishing at the bottom of the table.
2017 started off as a better year for the Qalandars as they defeated both Islamabad United and Karachi Kings in back to back matches. What followed next was more akin to their performance in the first PSL as their losing streak continued landing them at the bottom of the table yet once again.
In 2018, the Qalandars put up a better fight initially before crashing out of the tournament. No prizes for guessing what position they occupied on the points table (last). They were able to repeat the feat in PSl 2019 as well.
Will 2020 be any different for Lahore Qalandars? They have been fairly consistent at losing and fans have just about given up on this franchise. It will be a welcome surprise for all if they are able to turn things around and finally reach the second stage of the tournament.
Lahore Qalandars PSL 2020 Squad
Sohail Akhtar (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Salman Butt, Usman Shinwari, Fakhar Zaman, Jaahid Ali, Raja Farzan, Faizan Khan, Dilbar Hussain, David Wiese, Chris Lynn, Samit Patel, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ben Dunk, Lendl Simmons.
We hope this gives you a better overview of other T20 events that are taking place around the globe.
Head over to the cricket betting sites we have listed to find the latest odds on PSL.
Title: Cricket Betting on Pakistan Super League PSL 2020 | Is it worth it?
Posted On: 10/03/2020
Author: Tony Willets